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Mary Brennan Education. (2012) 'Pat Nixon Embattled First Lady.'

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United States 6, Nixon 6, Eisenhower 5, Peru 4, Liberia 4, Poland 3, India 3, Mary Brennan 3, Ghana 3, America 3, China 2, U.s. 2, Pat 2, Caracas Venezuela 2, Nikita Khrushchev 2, Passband 1, Italy 1, Lima 1, Washington 1, France 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Mary Brennan  Education.  (2012)  
   'Pat Nixon Embattled First Lady.'  

    December 23, 2012
    1:30 - 2:29am EST  

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insurance across state lines. you can buy life insurance across state lines -- datelined so this is just silliness. the only that benefit our the special interests and their special coverages. that's benefiting special-interest. >> priceless is the name of the book, curing the health care crisis a new book in 2012 and john goodman is the author. this is booktv on c-span2. >> in her book, "pat nixon" mary brennan recounts the life of the former first lady who died in 1993. ms. brennan discusses her use of mrs. nixon's recently released private documents. this is just under 50 minutes. >> welcome to the richard nixon presidential library and museum. my name is paul and i'm the acting director of the library. i appreciate all of you coming to one of our continuing author
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talk recitations. today, we are very fortunate to have really the leading scholar on pat nixon who is by the way of warren 100 years ago this year. mary brennan, did much who did much of her research here for her book, is the chair of the department of history at the university of texas and san marcos. her specialty is post-world war ii conservative movement and she has written to date, three different books those being turning right at the 60's, conservator capture of the gop, wives, mothers and the conservative women conservative women in the crusade against communism and of course the book we love the most around here which is "pat nixon" embattled
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first lady. her book is an outstanding work and i look forward to -- i would like you to help me welcome her out onto the stage talk about her work. mary brennan. [applause] >> thank you, paul. is such a great honor to be back here at the nixon library. library. >> boss that i did much of my research here and i feel very close to all of the people here. they were so helpful to me in learning what i did about pat. i would like to begin with a story. one evening in 1954, at the nixon's dinner it was president eisenhower was going to speak they came across an indian woman sitting on a bench outside the banquet hall perk no pat recognize the women and asked if he did. halfway down pat remember the
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woman and mater has been returned to where the woman sitting. passbook was a woman and asked her if they had not met previously. when the woman replied that they had, pat asked about her stay in the u.s. and inquired what she was doing in the hallway. the woman explained that she was returning to india a few days and hope to catch it glimpse of the president before she went home. path and then arrange for the woman to be given a seat at the dinner so that she could hear his speech as well as see the president. nixon then left the hall to continue on to their previous engagement. i used to the story to begin my talk because i think it exemplifies several key points i was to make about pat nixon and her public role. more particularly about her role as foreign diplomat. first, pat met the indian woman during one of her travels the second lady. for pat the traveling she did as first and second lady was the best part of her job as a
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political wife. second, this woman was not the wife of an ambassador or statesman. she was just a young woman who had come to the united states and come out first to see the second lady and come out to you's to study. pat did not limit her contact on her travels to important people. she treated everyone should read as if they were the most important person in the world. the people she met since her sincerity and responded to it. third, she was happiest in her role when she could take action. the party the nixon's red and the engagement they were going to war not as important at that moment at getting this visitor a seat at the presidential dinner. the greater scheme of things this is really a small act but it left a lasting impression both on the woman in alt, the indian woman involved and the women at the table that she was eventually seated at. that is how we know about the event, through a letter that
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someone who she ended up sitting with responded and wrote to pat later about it. for pat politics was her job and when she did enjoyed perk on occasion she was proud of her work in helping to raise funds for the party. she found found many for tasks frustrating and mindnumbing. by the end of her first term she expressed her jealousy of her friends re-entry into the workforce. she wrote, i would like to do part-time work rather than all the useless use was getting about i'm expected to do. the thrill of meeting famous men and women in the number of white tie dinners at the white house wore off leaving only that hiring routine of constant evenings away from her girls and idle chatter with women she did not always like. for someone who had worked hard her entire life, and she had worked hard her entire life, the situation could at times be intolerable. it was not the long hours of the physical challenges the wager down. she resented not being useful, not doing something meaningful.
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perhaps that is why a foreign travel appeal to her. during her chips overseas, she felt that she was playing an important role. she was representing americans interest abroad. her introduction to role as american representative came during her first year a second lady. president eisenhower sent his vice president on a tour beginning in asian continuing to parts of the subcontinent. during the fall of 1953. president eisenhower told the vice president that he should take pat with them. she realize that this trip is going to be work but it was going to be interesting. pat describes it in scrappy the same words and letters she wrote to her good friend next month. along the minimal on drivers that included a military aide, state department representative, a flight surgeon, three pass representatives, two secret service agents, nixon's
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administrative assistant and the only other woman on the trip, rosemary woods, the nixon's embarked on their 42,000-mile journey. and a little more than two months the group visited over 15 countries, attended hundreds of state dinners participated in a numeral sarah boney's -- innumerable ceremonies. the state department have briefed the group on the countries and people they would be sitting. pat took these briefings very much to heart. in fact one member of the group told a reporter figures later the patent served as the groups walking encyclopedia. whenever they needed information about what country they run of the culture they were turned to her because she would have the information. her husband concentrate on the larger ship reassuring americans allies clarified eisenhower's policy and assessing attitudes toward communism. while he did that, pat's role is to go out and meet the people.
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neither he nor package ever been particularly interested in foreign socializing so he requested that official dinners be kept to minimum so they could meet with as many different people as possible in the countries they visited. pat recognize there is doubt to be done that she wrote in her diary that she could not help the caught up in the thrill of traveling. even her sadness of leaving the girls did not completely overwhelm her excitement. the harsh reality of such extensive travel combined with the little girls enthusiasm for seeing new and different sites left off the pages of her diary. she gleefully recorded her initiation ceremony as she cracked the equator for the first time. quote, acted as king that two men wear the crown designed by the crew. what fun. a hostess arranged to have all-male entertainment, quite risquÉ. on the 14th of october she
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detailed their experience in may or a village in new zealand where he had to take part in a ritual dialogue. both she and participate in the custom of nose rubbing. although she had said she felt faint when some of the disheveled oldsters lined up for a session of those rubbings and nixon's wants to be good sports so they took it. she had more problems because she also visited the kitchen where the women were cooking the food that they were going to be being later on and she said the kitchen was so 30 and unsanitary that she was actually really quite leery of being the food that was given to them. she had learned the art of pushing food around on her plate and covering things up so it looked like she was being without actually having to do anything. this would prove to be the case on all the overseas trips the nixon's would make during the vice president so years. although their scheduled throughout the credit official duties in the conditions could
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be challenging, pat continued to be thrilled visiting the countries. in early 1956 she and dick attended the inauguration of the new brazilian president rio de janeiro city she called the most spectacularly youthful city she had ever seen and where the parties at the palace were fabulous. she did find it required quite a different -- they were experiencing a 75-degree climate change when they went in one day. until i bet you're the nixon's set off on another world tour. explained in a letter to helene that this was a fast and full trip. in the course of one day we were in three countries, thailand, pakistan and turkey. although her husband met with government leaders she again had our own schedule of events. again she wrote, it was a busy and happy but in such a short time so much could be accomplished. november of 1958 the couple
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traveled to london, where pat out much of the british press with her netting wardrobe and unspoiled manner. the following year they went to the soviet union and poland. in moscow that confronted nikita khrushchev in a famous kitchen debate during which the two leaders argued communism and capitalism in an exhibition of americans who markets. pat once again had our own agenda of visiting orphanages and hospitals. he might have got more headlines but pats and direction for soviet women and children also made a lasting impression. there were all kinds of pictures of her handing out candy and bubblegum to the soviet children that made into "life" magazine. perhaps more portly her pointed questions to nikita khrushchev about his wife's absence from the festivities led to mrs. khrushchev as well as the other soviet officials suddenly appearing at the offense during the rest of the visit.
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he told one reporter that she thought it helped to have a woman along on a diplomatic mission. they can make friends in different ways than men. she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of cheers that greeted the nixon's have a child bolt through the streets of poland. pat who is not easily rattled, had to fight back tears on their arrival in poland. when pat became first lady almost 10 years later her love of travel and wreck it vision of the important role it allowed her to play only increase. the giddy wonder struck travel remained beneath the surface but she had become much more where of the book agile power. during her five years as first lady, pat visited 32 countries around the world, several more than once. she accompanied her husband on the groundbreaking trip to china and set new precedence herself by traveling as an official representative united states to the migration of president william tolbert of liberia in 1972 and repeating the task in
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1974 by attending the swearing-in ceremony of her a nest of gazelle. wherever she went she espoused the same practice utilized during her travels in 1950's. she strove to make as many strands -- france is possible for herself in the country. while her desire to make friends everywhere might've had clinical consequences it arose from a sincere desire to look beyond the dignitaries to the people of the countries he visited. in part because of a connection with our own roots. she never forgot who she was or where she came from. she was the daughter of a truck farmer who had supported herself since she was a teenager. at one point during her husbands administration she told a childhood friend that even though she occasionally felt inadequate to the task that quote she was only -- from artesia, the people she met were so gracious that she felt comfortable continuing important work she and her husband were
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doing. in addition, since she came from a small town, she understood what a thrill it was for someone to shake the hand of the second or first lady of the united states were to receive a letter from the white house. as a result from her first trip to the second lady or her white house years, she and to the formal dinners and official visits with business with her husband that she was supposed to which he also insists insisted on having our own separate itinerary that went beyond just the government sponsored or approved women's tees and social. she made it a point to seek out the institutions that affect the women and children. as the business teacher pat jotted her reactions to the sites and people she met in shorthand on our official schedule. during her vice presidential trip she quote went with mrs. da silva to see hospital for the aged are cushy, and they'll people were thrilled because nobody had been to see them. in the philippine she visited an
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orphanage and a training center and learning trades which can be done in the home. in south korea shoe-in to republic of korea division hospital and gave out candy and cigarettes. her brief comments indicated the state of things. quote, wounded on army cots with army blankets, soil but close end quote. during her first tour of site -- a segue to she visited institutions promoting industry training women to support themselves and their children setting up neighborhood kitchens and dispensaries. de keyser group made unscheduled stops, she felt that they were able to quote at the real picture. she concluded that in general people can since when another person is friendly and genuinely interested. that is what they tried to do, to show them, the peoples they were visiting that they rinchers to bend them as people. someone once asked pat why she could appear to be so interested
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in all these diverse people said she met and she said that's because i am. she said i look at the person i'm talking to and i know they have the story to tell and i want to hear that story. all i'm doing is paying attention to them well i'm talking to them. pat took her role as representative united states very seriously. she saw herself as part of an important official team. she certainly made something of an impression on the people she met. one constituent explained to pat and her husband was on and around the world business trip and had got into what he called the pat nixon trail. he wrote his wife that pat quote really rang a bell on this part of the world at a time when americans were not very popular. an american couple living in india sent out a similar letter praising the couple for bringing a quote fresh understanding of america end quote to the people
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of india. president eisenhower praised both the nixon's for their work, trip. even the american press noticed pats roll on the tour. the new york journal american explained that although she did not make speeches are carrying on the hind policy discussions, she wore her -- bore her full share of the workflow. her love of travel and openness to new peoples and places her quick smile and kind heart and your church of the people she met and made her a wonderful unofficial ambassador of the united states. in fact, in 1957 journalists are all maaco labeled her her this country's most effective female ambassador goodwill after accompanying pat and dick on a tour in italy and watching as she quote turned heads by the thousands and potentates by the dozen. without talking politics pat managed to win over not only the ragged women in a morobe and salt market but also sultan
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mohammed who granted her an unprecedented formal audience. her goal she told them was to convince people we enjoy being here and are generally interested in them. as it was not the only one to see the importance and her role. by the time the soviet trip, the last of their vice presidential ones, pat ambassador of goodwill had one of her -- and nric times calling her a diplomat in high heels. the report described her as self-possessed, self-made, orderly and precise. the capitol press club, an organization of african-american news correspondents, presented her with an international relations aboard in 1957, recognizing quote or goodwill at tiffany's among people of eight african countries end quote h.s. or as america's outstanding asset -- investor goodwill. deputy attorney general william rogers wrote to pat during a
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trip to europe which he had them bombarded i heard requests. he praised her significant role in public affairs. bolivar responsibilities a second lady that travel might only fulfilled her childhood dreams but also at allowed her to be a useful and necessary part of an important enterprise. when her husband had first run for office annexes had the team have had it been a crucial player or goes his is his career took off in different directions passed sometimes the relegated to the sidelines. her work overseas rainforests that she was still significant not just to her husband's career but to something larger. when she became first lady, foreign travel weather with her husband your honor own, contained continue play this vital role for pat. allowing her to brits is paying in the political realm in a positive way at a time when many other paths were limited. passband much of her time in the
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white house working against political aide to did not fail you heard vice opinions or presence. are presence. many these men treated her as a prop to be used for publicity purses -- not purposes only. she face challenges in shifting social order at the women's movement spread throughout the country. pat the super mom and super wife face ridicule from the feminist press for letting her husband pressure into politics. the service press praise your willingness to stand behind her husband. pat the woman hated the increased lack of privacy and long for something meaningful to do. traveling abroad took her away from their frustrations at home and allowed her to be herself. even her husband who excluded her from the most important policy decisions did recognize her as an asset when it came to foreign-policy. years later he told former aide frank gannon during a series of interviews that pat always handled herself properly even
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during sensitive diplomatic conversations that she might inadvertently overhear. he explained that she quote listens and nods but never makes comments of our own. at same time however he relied on her to notice things he did not because as he put it, she was very observant. giving pat some responsibility and small diplomatic tasks also provided nixon with cover when they increasingly vocal feminist demanded a role in local policy. she was a woman he could trust to do only what he expected her to do. pats foreign travel did more than gifford desire for venture visiting new places, it was a way of reconnecting her husband and to the dick and pat t-mobile. she'd never been more part of his life and work than when they travel together during the vice presidency years. president so years. circling the circumstances had changed. now they traveled with a huge entourage of aids, security
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personnel and reporters. her husband's faith in her abilities demonstrated by his willingnewillingne ss to center off by herself must have ratified her. she seized the opportunity to prove herself. the chair to purview -- peru epitomized her value as a foreign ambassador. an earthquake measuring 7.75 on the richter scale devastated half of peru killing at least 50,000 person and displacing hundreds of thousands of others. mudslides followed the initial quake. homeless injured in starving survivors rushed to the coastal areas in search of medical attention and news of loved ones. as news reports filtered back to the united states president nixon promised $10 million in aid as well as promising to loan army and navy helicopters for the search-and-rescue missions. the american public move by the depth and station began donating
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supplies and money to the people of peru. similarly empathetic pat wanted to help. during a weekend at camp david the couple discussed the situation and dick raise the possibility of pat personally filled the frame donations from the american people down to peru. a week later she flew to peru and matt consuela gonzalez d. velasco wife of the peruvian president to deliver donations, visit the injured and homeless and review the damage. she took with her over 18,000 pounds of clothing blankets and other goods as well as cash donations. during her brief stay she accompanied ms. velez going to tour the most devastator regions. on a small plane sitting on every purpose kitchen chair with no seatbelt. walking amid the rep will she hug the children enough comfort to those who had lost everything. her genuine concern and sympathy did much to ease the tension
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that had existed between the u.s. and peru since velasco's ascension to power. editorial and then main these paper in lima noted profound significance of pat's visit. inner human warrant an identification with the suffering of the peruvian people the editorial continued, she had gone beyond the norms of international courtesy. the people of her real appreciated the understanding concern that she demonstrated in our sorrow. on her departure of the less go for it for the grand crop of the order to some. in "the washington post" which rarely had much positive to say about the next demonstration of minute that she had quote threaded her way among all potential sources of trouble admirably and with skill. epitomizing the simple human response acquired by the the strategy the strategy of the editorials continue. she succeeded in communicating to the prevention that a genuine desire to help and to have done
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so with great tact for all of which he deserves much credit. if a chip to peru show the potential for a goodwill ambassador, her church the following year to africa despite her determination to break through the restraints of her first lady role. in early january 1972, pat set out on an eight day, 10,000-mile trip to the african continent where she visited liberia, and the ivory coast. the primary mission of the trip was to participate in the inauguration of william holden the new president of liberia. for the first time the first lady would be the official representative of the united states. as such, pat private -- as well as prime minister busey and edward auto of ghana and president felix coetzee --
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of the ivory coast and i just murdered their names for which i apologize. it included the sms or liberia samuel z westerfield as well as a reverent billy graham. and mrs. john h. johnson, the wife of the president of the johnson publishing company that published ebony and jet. in addition to speeches before political parties the africans treated past and her entourage to a whirlwind of dinners receptions and presentations. patzek or responsibilities seriously. julie noted in for her biography of her mother that pat snuck away from the family of two goodies to go over her written notes and organize her thoughts for the upcoming trip. the state department staff repaired remarks for her she went over them making changes where she felt necessary and highlighting point she wanted to emphasize. in liberia sheen -- by noticing how i'm -- noting
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noting our press she was by the considerable development that occurred since your last visit in 1957. in ghana she traveled out of the hills to pay her respects to 83-year-old chief who she met during the vice president so visit. he told her that she had forged a friendship between the american and ghanaian people that quote not even a line could rake in quote. before she left ghana she spoke before the national assembly living a rare public political speech. in each of the three countries pat spoke with the leaders about her husband's upcoming trip to china explaining that he did not intend to normalize relations but to open a dialogue. she also reiteratereiterated america's promise of financial assistance to aid and development and announced the creation of two graduate fellowships for women to travel to the united states to study.
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it's not official pronouncements that earned her the accolades. it was her warmth, enthusiasm come her genuine appreciation of an affection for the people she met. in monrovia liberia she told reporters she could not wait to get around to meet people and she certainly did that. she waited in the crowd shaking hands giving hugs and patting backs. at the inauguration ceremony she gave president told their a warm cheek to cheek embrace. he called her a woman in quote of courage strength of character and fortitude of spirit in quote in a group of women presented her with traditional white and blue lap of cloth rather than accepting the gift she stood up and tried to tie it around her waist. the women were shocked to realize what she's trying to do and immediately got up and came up to help her and dressed her in the traditional clothing. pats delight in the outfit and
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her willingness to model it in front of her audience and the camera spoke audience about her respect for the culture and the people she was visiting. if you had a chance to visit the centennial exhibit you will see that wonderful picture of pat and a blue headdress we can get your picture taken. that is the most beautiful picture of pat nixon you can find and it speaks volumes about how she felt about her ability to go out and meet these people and to play a role and to show them the respect. you can just see it in her eyes in that picture that this was very much something -- it wasn't something that shoes putting on. it was something that she believed in very deeply. all of the news photo show packed with the huge grin on her face whether she is watching a traditional tribal dance listening to his speech are traveling in motorcade or participaparticipa ting in a tribal dance which he is doing in another photo.
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that return home trampoline heralded by the press. "time" magazine declared her african queen for a weekend in your times are bold that they loved her in monrovia, the left her in -- pat would make one more trip is first lady. she attended the non-gration of president ernest gizela purcell and made a stop in caracas venezuela. by this point her credentials as diplomatic assets had been well-established. however caught up in the midst of the watergate scandal the media paid little attention to the first lady's travel itinerary which was quite the shame he could secure a member caracas venezuela's where nixon had that terrible experience during his vice presidential year.
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